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Every month, we like to interview another couple who has made traveling a huge part of their lives. Many of these duos are bloggers or other folks living the digital nomad lifestyle, while some work traditional jobs but get away on adventures at every opportunity. This month our travel couple is Lisanne and Jeffrey of Chapter Travel. This Dutch couple in their mid-20s travels the world working as they go. They can currently be found exploring the wide open Outback of Australia. Read on for tales of love, adventure, and surviving van life—all part of their adventures traveling as a couple!
When did you first start traveling together?
Our first short trip together was a city trip to Budapest. That was about two years ago, just after we were together officially. Soon after that we went to a city trip to Berlin. Currently we are on our biggest journey, as we are traveling in Australia, where we have been since November last year. Coming October we will go to Nepal and start our travels in Asia!
How would you describe your travel style?
Probably our travel style can be best described as adventurous, although we do like some luxury now and then. We mostly travel around with our car, so it’s mainly a big road trip at the moment. We also did some casual work in the outback to save up some money. It all depends where we are, because in Asia we won’t travel by our own car but probably use shuttles busses, little boats and airplanes!
What has been the most rewarding part of traveling as a couple?
Seeing so many beautiful and unique spots together. It’s wonderful to be able to experience such a big adventure together and we often talk about how lucky we actually are to do this! We are very aware that we are making great memories all the time. It can be rewarding as we see how strong our relationship actually is. You do have to endure a lot of different experiences, and not all are positive!
What has been the most challenging part of traveling as a couple?
Definitely living in our van together! There is not a lot of space and you are together 24/7. We noticed that it works if we give each other some space once in a while, even if we both are reading a book side by side.
Have you ever had a fight on the road/while traveling, and how did you handle it?
Yes, we had a few fights! We guess that’s normal for every couple, traveling or not. Sometimes you just get annoyed when you are in a bad situation or you are just grumpy and take it out on each other.
We both think that our communication is very strong at the moment. Definitely something that has become stronger during our time here. When we have a fight we usually talk it over once the heat of the argument is gone and just discus each others feelings. Something that really helps is not trying to “win” the argument, but just trying to understand each other’s point of view.
Can you share your funniest, most humorous experience on your couple adventures?
We had a surfboard and we usually tied it to our roof rack when we were driving. Just over a week ago we were sleeping in Kununura (located in the Kimberley Region) and Jeff just put the board on the roof before we went to sleep and he thought to himself “I’ll tie it up first thing tomorrow.” The next day we woke up early and started driving right away. Lisanne was driving and entered the high way, so she started to drive faster. After hearing some noise on the roof, Jeff realized he forgot to tie the board to the roof so he started swearing and said the surfboard probably fell off. We stopped the car beside the road and a car pulled up next to us. They told us they know where our board was, so we followed them to where we dropped the board. Two construction workers had found it and walked towards us. They said they saw the board flying in the air and decided to take it and post a photo on Facebook with the board. It’s a very random place to find a surfboard, as it’s in the middle of the outback. Luckily the surf board survived.
The very next day we were in Kakadu National Park and we put the surf board on the roof again, and told each other that we shouldn’t forget to tie it up later – but of course we forgot. A little while later we decided to go and watch the sunset. In a hurry we drove off, and heard the surfboard fall again. This time the surfboard didn’t survive, and we weren’t even on time for the sunset!
Where have you been that you would recommend as the top destination for couples travel?
Whitsundays was beautiful, that can be a romantic place for a couple. You can even camp on Whitehaven Beach if you are into camping. Another great destination is the Széchenyi thermal bath in Budapest. Good for a relaxed and luxurious day!
How long have you two been together?
We have officially been together for almost two years. Before we were official, we were already dating for about five months. And before that we were friends for about a year!
Do you think your relationship would be different if you didn’t travel?
Yes. Traveling kinda speeds up the relationship. You get to know each other very well, very fast and learn to work more as a team with every day issues!
How do you define love?
For us love is wanting the best for one another, being comfortable together without any effort and enjoying the little things of life with each other.
What do you think is the glue that keeps relationships together?
Good communication is so important. Other than that a little bit of adventure and a little bit of luxury now and then! That seems to work for us.
What advice do you have for couples considering traveling together?
Realize that it’s not one long big vacation if you are planning on traveling long term. Sometimes you really have to work on your relationship and it can be a real test on how strong your relationship is. Give each other some space once in a while and don’t forget to relax and enjoy the experience!
Take a look at more of our interviews with couples who travel:
Amy Hartle is the author of Do You Love Me? How To Stop Seeking Reassurance in Relationships, a book on reassurance seeking and relationship anxiety. Both her book and this blog are born of personal experience; Amy shares expert relationship advice from the lessons learned during her own 10+ years with her husband, as well as couples travel tips and romantic getaway recommendations, all gleaned while traveling the world together.